Ellie Rogers lives the life of many peoples dreams. Frequenting airports more often than I get my hair done, who else is more perfect to come up with a beautiful range of travel bags to suit the fashionable jet-setter?
After being in many terminals and seeing what was out there, she thought people deserved something a little more special to carry their prized processions around. We care so much about our hangbags, why can’t our travel bags carry the same stature? Ellie Rogers travel collection brings fashion and functionality together with beautiful Australian designed prints so you don’t have to lug around that 10-year-old knackered kmart bag around any more.
After a break from her previous label to create a family, Ellie is back in with full force. Today she tells us how she juggles family and business and how you too can bring adventure to your everyday life.
[line]Name: Ellie Rogers
What did you study and what was your original intended career path?
I studied Film and Television production while living in Vancouver, Canada.
Give us a brief background on your career to date:
I came back to Melbourne after studying in Canada and worked in some TV production offices. I was terrible at admin and very uninspired – I was even fired once for falling asleep in a meeting. I started to knit scarves and sell them in friends’ shops around Melbourne. The scarves then turned to T-shirts and then on to other street wear clothing until I had my own label called Pony Clothing, which I ran for a few years. I changed the name to Lulatsch later. (my childhood nickname meaning long legged and scruffy in German) Lulatsch was a little more girly and sold in boutiques all over Australia as well as in Indonesia.
I shut up shop in my late 20’s and did some fashion styling for a while but found myself missing the design side of my life. Travel bags were my next endeavour as I saw a big gap in the market for this product. They did well for a couple of years and then I took a break to have kids. I am now back doing what I really love and have a great long term goal in mind, to make beautiful travel bags that are accessible to women (and eventually men) that people can really feel proud of.
[line][pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]I feel that having my own adventures in my life makes me happier and in turn my family.[/pullquote] [line]
After having kids, how did you decide now was the right time to get back into it?
Now that the kids aren’t babies anymore and have their own thing going on a little bit, I felt I needed to do the same. I feel that having my own adventures in my life makes me happier and in turn my family. Boredom is my worst enemy.
What is your inspiration behind travel bags?
My inspiration is our adventurous lifestyle. We are constantly on the move. We aren’t city slickers by nature so we are always adventuring whenever we have the chance to fulfill our other sides weather that’s me being a beach bum at heart, my husbands desire to surf or our skiing and rock climbing adventures together. Another major inspiration to me has been my family.
My mum was a top Australian model in the 60’s and 70’s. She was one of those women who always looked glamorous no matter what. All her old photographs constantly inspire my love for all things vintage.
My Dad, an ex polo player inspired a love of beautiful craftsmanship. His saddles, boots and bridles were always a work of art and kept in perfect order. The smell is forever ingrained in my mind of perfectly conditioned leather. He is also a vintage car collector, which inspires some old time glam in me.
[line][pullquote width=”600″ float=”left”]I love having something that I created out of nothing, bringing an idea to life is very satisfying.[/pullquote] [line]
What are some of the most exciting parts of running your own business?
I love having something that I created out of nothing, bringing an idea to life is very satisfying, especially when you see an appreciation for it in other people. I also love creating products I will love and use myself all the time.
After 5 years of 100% kid time, it is exciting to be out in the world again learning new things, meeting new people, discovering new production techniques etc…
What has been some of the biggest challenges for you?
Juggling work and family life. Time is a little scarce right now but I think I am more productive with a little pressure in my life.
Dealing with producing in China has been a whole new learning curve, however, very much worth it as the quality that has been produced is amazing.
How do you juggle kids and work?
Kids come first always and I now work in what was my “time off” – TV/couch/magazine sessions are few and far between. The best nanny in the world doesn’t hurt either…
What are some of the ways you are going to use get your name out there?
Editorials, Social media, Retailers and best of all is word of mouth, I still believe the best advertising is from people who love my products as much as I do.
[line][pullquote width=”400″ float=”right”]Just go for it. Start small, make something you believe in and just keep plugging away at it until people see what you see.[/pullquote] [line]
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Just go for it. Start small, make something you believe in and just keep plugging away at it until people see what you see.
Where are some of your favourite travel destinations?
- Utah – we go on our family ski trips there and the snow is amazing, there is also some beautiful restaurants and great shopping.
- The Maldives are so beautiful!
- Noosa is my idea of the perfect Australian lifestyle.
- I just did a trip with my friends to the Greek islands and had one of the craziest fun times of my life. The rest of Europe is beautiful also.
- My heart will always have a little piece of Canada in it.
How many bags do you take travelling with you?
Depends where I go but I always have a trusty Ellie Rogers bag as hand luggage on planes or as my main bag for weekends away. My make-up bag, which I produced in the same shape years ago, I still use every day for my make-up essentials. The kids have them too for toothbrushes, nappies, wipes, medicine, whatever. My whole bag fleet will be complete in no time when I get into making beautiful wheelie bags.
[line][pullquote width=”400″ float=”right”]Be confident. Don’t change a thing. Don’t worry about the future, everything is going to be amazing![/pullquote] [line]
What would you say to your 21 year old self?
Be confident. Don’t change a thing. Don’t worry about the future, everything is going to be amazing!
What person dead or alive would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Some old rocker like Johnny Cash who would have some pretty amazing stories and give you a pretty good live gig afterwards…